Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Gripen

The Smart Fighter

Quick Launch

Gripen > Categories

Category: GRIPEN NG

_ska1849.jpg

A full- scale replica of Gripen E adorns the entrance of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. Inside, Brazilian and Swedish engineers work together on various 'work projects' under the Gripen NG development programme.

"The idea is that the Brazilian version of Gripen will eventually be manufactured here," says Jonas Petzén, Site and Development Manager at GDDN. “Meanwhile Saab and Embraer will together oversee the development of a two-seater version of Gripen."

The work has already begun on various 'work packages'. These cover the design of the cockpit, including new displays, rigs and simulators, pneumatic systems and ejection systems, overall design and avionics - all of which form the basic infrastructure for other work packages.

"The working climate is extremely creative and is a clear example of a situation where one plus one makes more than two," Petzén says.

According to Petzén, over the next few years, the focus of Saab's cooperation with Embraer and other partners in Brazil will be on development. "The simulator for the air force pilots will come online in 2017, and a manufacturing facility will gradually be built," he says.

One of the Swedish engineers, Johan Beckman who has moved to Brazil to work at GDDN, says things have got off to a great start. “It’s going really well and this is mainly due to the fact that our Brazilian colleagues spent a year in Linkoping. They know how Saab ...

Gripen-NG-Mock-up1-960x653.jpg 

In an interview with Defesaaereanaval.com, Bengt Janér, Director of the Gripen Brazil project at Saab, talks about the latest update on the Gripen programme, technology transfer and the role of Brazilian companies in the fighter development.

About the technology transfer process, Bengt says that it started in October 2015. About 150 Brazilian engineers are currently participating in the training program at the Gripen plant in Sweden. In total, there will be over 60 projects under the technology transfer programme, lasting up to 24 months.

Bengt adds that Brazilian company Akaer plays a very important role in the fighter’s development. Akaer’s involvement in the Gripen programme started in 2009. During the first phase, it did a preliminary study of the rear fuselage and parts of central fuselage, wings and main landing gear door. Starting 2012, Akaer was responsible for the complete development of the rear fuselage. After 2014, the company started working on optimisation and detailing of the gun unit and central fuselage of the fighter.

Brazilian engineers who were in Sweden for training, are now working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo, and at AEL and Akaer, companies that Saab has industrial cooperation agreement with.

On being asked about the status of the development process of various Gripen versions, Bengt added that Gripen E’s first test flight would take place in the second quarter of 2017 as planned and Saab is looking forward ...

Several of Saab’s larger deals include long-term industrial cooperations with customer countries. The goal is to create good value for both parties.

Many countries around the world have formal requirements and regulations in place which relate to industrial cooperation. 

“Even countries that don’t have such formal requirements often want Saab to contribute to their industrial development,” says Anders Edlund, Director at Saab Industrial Cooperation. “In some cases, it involves increasing exports, in others, it is purely a matter of security – they want to be able to maintain and upgrade the system they have purchased from us.” 

The most recent major business deal is Brazil’s purchase of 36 Gripen aircraft. The contract stipulates a number of requirements for industrial cooperation, including the training of Brazilian engineers and workshop personnel. By the end of 2024, more than 350 individuals from the Brazilian Air Force and Saab’s business partners will have taken part in training courses in Linköping, Sweden. 

The contract also includes a new hub for technology development and flight tests, which was inaugurated at the end of 2016. A local production facility will be built, and the assembly process at the site is set to begin in the early 2020s. In addition, various research projects are being conducted jointly with the Brazilian Air Force. 

Analysis before agreement

When making such an extensive commitment, Saab undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the country concerned before considering entering into an agreement.

“You have to understand ...

brazil_gripen1004.jpg

The low building in an industrial area in Arboga reveals nothing about the high level of technical interaction between Swedish and Brazilian engineers that goes on inside. For seven months, Marcelo Tonial and his two colleagues from AEL Sistemas are spending their days developing the knowledge on how to build and optimize the resources required to maintain the avionics units on Gripen. They are there to acquire the knowledge required to set up a workshop in Brazil for maintaining 36 Gripen fighters ordered for the Brazilian Air Force. “Going to Sweden for the technology transfer process was something I really wanted to be involved in,” says Tonial, who has temporarily left his position at the Research and Development department at AEL Sistemas to lead the Brazilian team in Sweden.

Marcelo Tonial and his colleagues are only three of nearly 350 professionals from Saab's Brazilian partner companies and the Brazilian Air Force that are involved in the Transfer of Technology (ToT), the industrial cooperation and technical exchange programme between the two countries that began in October 2015 and will last until 2024. The aim is to provide the Brazilian aerospace industry with the technology and knowledge needed to develop, assemble and maintain Gripen in Brazil.

In the technology transfer program, the sharing of knowledge goes two ways. AEL Sistemas develops and manufactures technological solutions for defence and security in air and on land and has developed the electronic display for the Gripen aircraft in Brazil.

gripen-e_1603.jpg

Gripen E's first test flight will be conducted during the second quarter of this year," says Jerker Ahlqvist, head of Gripen programme.

During the annual Gripen seminar earlier this year, Jerker explained that Saab’s new work methods with model-based-design is proving to be very successful. 

“As we prepare for Gripen E’s first test flight, we see that any software corrections can be easily implemented now. We can quickly make a change and introduce a new software load to the aircraft within days. This is something that previously took weeks or even months to undergo. It gives us the confidence that we are on the right track and the programme will run as per the schedule,” he said.

Saab is building two more test aircraft which are at various stages of production. Aircraft 39-8 is currently in ground test. The second test aircraft has entered the stage of final assembly.

About Gripen M, Jerker said that it is at a conceptual stage. “We are working with Brazilian engineers on a concept study of Gripen M. We are also in the process of responding to an RFI from India. We believe that Gripen M has good potential and can hopefully turn into a full development programme at a later stage.”

Jerker presented the Gripen seminar along with Richard Smith, Head of Marketing, Gripen, who gave an overview of the position of Gripen in the market today.

"The market looks optimistic for ...

why-we-share-80-years-of-fighter-jet-know-how.jpg

The revolutionary thinking behind the Gripen programme has once more ensured Saab’s delivery of one of the world’s most advanced fighters. Gripen E is a fighter not only fit for purpose today but ready and adaptable for events beyond tomorrow’s horizon.

Gripen, an advanced fighter system

The world renown Gripen project was initially created as a result of a synergy between university, industry and government. Known as the ‘triple helix’ this model has long been employed by Saab to ensure highly sophisticated technological advancement.

Eva Söderström, Head of Industrial Cooperation, explains, "This has existed for many years in Sweden, although at the time it was not known as the ‘Triple Helix’ – it was a model we used: academia, industry and a governmental body. We did this to develop the Gripen program and we did it because it worked."  Söderström makes a simple point that can sometimes get lost when talking of management models "It worked." The Triple Helix is certainly far from a conceptual idea at Saab but rather it is a working method.

Read the full story here.

​Gripen E is developed with future progress in mind. See this video where Johan, one of our avionics specialists, and Marcus, test pilot, share our thoughts on building a fighter system adaptable for the future. 

swedish gripen 02_2806.jpg

The Swedish Air Force is reportedly spending SEK 2 billion to train for Cold War style operations from road runways, reports Aviation Week​. The expenditure is on road runways and for buying equipment for clearing snow, which will enable SwAF fighters to easily take-off and land in the absence of a proper runway.

Sweden deployed jets on highways and general aviation airfields during the Cold War era when attacks from Soviet Air Force were expected. This practice paved the way for the modern Gripen’s design which allows it to land and take off from roads.

The renewed interest comes from a rise in military activities in the Baltics and enhanced Russian activity in nearby areas. The upcoming exercise Aurora 2017 will also feature dispersed operations and will test the skills of the country’s armed services, national guards and government agencies in the event of a national emergency. 

Read more here.

Second_Flight_SKA6754.jpg
Second Flight_SKA6839.jpg
A week after Gripen E's successful maiden flight, it was time for the second flight on 22 June. Test pilot Robin Nordlander piloted this 68 minutes flight in which several tests like take-off with afterburner and aileron rolls, were conducted. The test programme is going as planned and more flights will follow.

Photo: Stefan Kalm

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.

< 11 - 20 >